As a mother in 2020 most of us if not all of us are part of at least one mom group online, or some form of social media platform. The subject I am touching on today is one that I hold close to my heart and one that also hurts my heart at times. This post is in no way shaming or bashing the advice giving in mom groups, I personally think they can be great; mother’s coming together from all over the world with different parenting styles, offering advice on a wide variety of parenting relating topics.
Being a mother is a tough job. Now a day’s mothers have eyes from every direction watching and judging what is being done. When you add in the overwhelming amount of information about sleep on top of regular parenting struggles, it can be too much for most. This blog post is meant to help correct some inaccurate (and sometimes dangerous) information you may receive when asking out for help regarding your baby’s sleep.
“Sleep Training doesn’t work”
In many cases when parents are taking on the sleep training independently without much research or information, many important components of the training are missing which makes parents assume the training just didn’t work.
“Cut out naps”
This one is quite possibly one of the most damaging pieces of advice I see in comments to parents who are experiencing sleep troubles. Often times people offer scheduling advice without an experience creating schedules, and without keeping age appropriate wake times in mind. All children are different and will thrive on their own schedules. It is important to create a schedule for your child based on what they need.
“Early mornings = baby needs a later bedtime”
People assume that when a child is waking early in the morning, they need a later bedtime. In rare cases this is true, but a majority of the time it is the opposite. Ensuring your child is getting the appropriate amount of wake time between their last nap and bedtime will work in your favour towards tackling early mornings.
“My child was fine when I did insert dangerous advice”
This comment seems to happen most with adding in blankets and questions about babies rolling. The fact of the matter is a blanket is very likely not going to cure your child’s sleep issues and the AAP advises against it until at least 12 months.
Rolling is a completely normal milestone for your baby to reach and want to practice in the crib. Adding things into the crib to stop this from happening is not only unnecessary but unsafe.
“Sleep training increases SIDS”
No. This is so far from true I cannot express how inaccurate this piece of information is. Sleep training does NOT change your child’s sleep cycles. Sleep training does not make your child sleep ‘deeper.’ It simply teaches your child how to connect sleep cycles without the assistance from rocking, feeding, bouncing, etc.
If you have any concerns about your child's sleep habits, it's important to talk with trained professionals, and to double check advice given to you by other well meaning peers.
Children look to parents for guidance - teach them that sleep matters, and healthy sleep habits will follow them throughout their lives.